You've got to read the previous post to know what I mean by "the Bittman-Freudenberg contingent" and "the politico-journo-academic complex" and its "playbook." Basically, it's propaganda justifying the government's taking control over and restricting individual freedom of choice about engaging in activities that can damage the human body, even where the human being who wants to do such things can take precautions and exercise restraint to reduce the risk of harm and especially with respect to behavior that is urged on by the less intellectual and so-called "reptilian" parts of the brain.
Bittman and Freudenberg were talking about guns, cars, smoking, food, and drink — the things those with leftish leanings feel that government ought to control. But their playbook for supervening individual choice for the sake of better quality health can be followed just as well by those who lean in the social-conservative direction and want government control of sexual behavior. If the individual mind isn't capable of rationally assessing the risk and gives in to urges from the "reptilian" brain and if there's a higher right — a right of the public, generally — to good health, then, considering the ravages of sexually transmitted diseases, unplanned pregnancy, and psychological damage, one could justify outlawing all sex outside of marriage.
The leftish contingent will push back and say that the difference is: commercial products. What's really bad — what really bugs them — is corporations selling things and making money, taking advantage of the weak-minded consumers who should be making better decisions but buy that potentially health-damaging stuff anyway.
Right-wing users of the politico-journo-academic playbook have 2 options: 1. Deride the lefties' instinctive corporation-phobia (doesn't it spring from the "reptilian" brain zone?), or 2. Point to the corporations that sell sex, that stimulate the lower brains of all little people out there in the dark to think that they want sex, more sex, with many different partners, beginning at an early age, transcending all the traditional bounds of marriage and conventional decency.
And what about abortion? Abortion can be the better health choice for the woman, since early abortion is — I think the experts say — less dangerous to the woman than going through pregnancy and childbirth. Following the Bittman-Freudenberg playbook, we could argue for required early abortion, especially where the higher-brained experts predict that the would-be mother would not raise a healthy child. (Can she cook?) That same playbook would yield arguments for banning abortion later on, when completing the pregnancy is less dangerous.
And what of the right to abortion? The right of the individual to make her own choice about whether to have an abortion is premised on the idea of the woman's resolving what the Supreme Court called "philosophic questions," making "choices central to personal dignity and autonomy," exercising what it called the "right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe."
You can climb down from that cloud very easily with the help of the Bittman-Freudenberg playbook, which assumes away the individual as philosopher. In the scheme of that playbook, it's undoubtedly only the instinctive, lower-brained, reptile of a woman who feels an instinct to have a child or to rid herself of a pregnancy. Under government control, real and truly brainy philosophers could be hired to hammer out the regulations.